A homemade Shepherd’s Pie is the ultimate comfort food! A delicious filling with lots of gravy underneath a fluffy layer of mashed potatoes – perfect for a cold night, or as a special St. Patrick’s Day treat!
I LOVE Shepherd’s Pie. It’s the ultimate comfort food to me. It reminds me of working in a pub after finishing high school, it reminds me of my late British grandma, and it reminds me how much better it is to spend St. Patrick’s Day at home vs at a party, haha!
Now while authentic Shepherd’s Pie is made with ground lamb, I chose to use ground beef here for accessibility and budget-friendliness. You can ABSOLUTELY use the same recipe with ground lamb for a fully authentic version, but I didn’t want anyone to think this is not an approachable recipe – because truly, Shepherd’s Pie (or Cottage Pie as the beef version is traditionally called) should be here for everyone ❤️
📹 Full Video Instructions
🥣 Step by Step
1 Brown the ground meat, then add the chopped vegetables and sauté until softened.
2 Make the gravy – add seasoning, flour and tomato paste to the beef/vegetable mix. Stir well, then deglaze with red wine (OR beef broth if you prefer!). Then stir in broth and peas, give it a quick simmer and then let cool in a 7×11 inch baking dish.
While, admittedly, this IS a bit more work than something like a one pot pasta or a throw-together casserole… It’s still fairly simple for such a hearty and traditional meal.
AND, you can always make double and freeze one for an easy meal later – freezer instructions are included in the recipe notes below. Enjoy!
- Casserole Dish
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 clove garlic (chopped)
- 2 onions (finely chopped)
- 2 medium carrots (finely diced)
- 2 stalks celery (finely diced)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground paprika
- ground black pepper (to taste)
- 2 tablespoons white flour
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1/3 cup red wine
- 1 cup beef broth
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped thyme
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped rosemary
- 4 cups mashed potatoes ((click for my recipe and you’ll have some leftovers to sneak during cooking))
- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- Brown meat and vegetables: Heat the oil over medium high heat in a large, deep skillet. Add the beef and cook until browned and all the meat juices have evaporated. Add the garlic, onions, carrots and celery and continue cooking until the veggies are starting to soften.
- Season: Sprinkle the salt, paprika, pepper and flour over the pan. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring often. Stir in the tomato paste and cook, stirring all the time, until it smells roasted (about 1 minute).
- Deglaze the pan: Pour the red wine over the meat and veggies, scratching the browned bits off the bottom. Bring to a boil and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated. Add the broth and simmer for 4-5 minutes, or until a thick gravy has formed.
- Finish the filling: Stir in the peas and herbs. Check for seasoning, then spread in a 7×11 baking dish and set aside until cooled.
- Prep mash: In the meantime, make your favorite mashed potatoes. You need about 4 cups of mash to top off the casserole. About 1.5 pounds of peeled potatoes should yield enough.
- Bake pie: Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Spread the mashed potatoes over the cold filling. (Be careful not to mix up the two.) Sprinkle with the cheese. Bake at 400°F for 20 minutes or until golden.